A new lesbian, gay and bisexual alliance group has been heavily criticised for excluding the transgender community, prompting people to label it transphobic.
The “LGB Alliance” group met in London on Tuesday evening, with lawyer Allison Bailey of Garden Court Chambers calling it a “historic moment for the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual movement”.
“Spread the word, gender extremism is about to meet its match,” Bailey tweeted.
The new alliance is formed of previous members of LGBT+ charity Stonewall who have decided to protest against the organisation’s transgender stance.
At the meeting, the group formed of “influential lesbians, gay men and bisexuals” revealed its mission to “counteract the confusion between sex and gender which is now widespread in the public sector and elsewhere”.
The LGB Alliance will be formally launched in January 2020, but hundreds of people have already criticised the group on social media for its perceived anti-trans stance.
On Twitter, the group describes its aim as: "Asserting the right of lesbians, bisexuals and gay men to define themselves as same-sex attracted. Gender is a social construct."
In response to Bailey, one person tweeted: “As a bisexual woman, I am utterly disgusted at your attacks on our trans siblings and your alliance with the religious right. You do not speak for me (or for any of the other queers I know – we’re all equally repulsed by your ideas).”
Another person tweeted that members of the group “should be ashamed” of themselves.
Others sought to deny the existence of an “LGB” movement altogether, with one person tweeting: “There is no LGB movement. Not one that doesn’t stand side by side with trans people. Speaking as a bisexual guy, no less is acceptable, and you definitely don’t speak for me.”
Another person wrote: “You can’t be pro-LGB if you’re anti-T. We are one, together. No ‘LGB Alliance’ will speak for me or any of my friends or colleagues.”
Bev Jackson, a co-founder of the Gay Liberation Front and spokesperson for LGB Alliance, told The Independent: “We did not, do not, exclude trans people. Several trans people attended the meeting, one as a guest speaker. We are not attacking trans people.
"Our group focuses on sexual orientation. This has become necessary, because lesbians in particular, and recently gay men too, are suffering from the confusion between sex and gender. Lesbians and gay men are people who are attracted to others of the same sex. I fought for their rights to be respected fifty years ago and am sad that I need to defend those rights again today."
Stonewall has been keen to distance itself from the group after reports claimed the charity was “splitting”.
Paul Twocock, Stonewall’s interim CEO said: “There is no truth to reports of Stonewall ‘splitting’, so please ignore the alarmist headlines.
“These stories don’t refer to any current Stonewall staff or trustees. There is no equality for lesbian, gay and bi people without equality for trans people. We’re all united in our mission to achieve acceptance without exception for all LGBT+ people.”
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